- I heard great things about “her,” that it made you think, that it was a great film, etc. I thought I had better watch it.
- I love stories that have just a touch of science fiction to them – I feel that this expansion of rules allows for unique ways to probe old problems. In this case, I felt like it wasn’t used to its full potential. I thought it was funny how everyone in this future wore their pants quite high. I also thought the idea of a surrogate partner was genuine and interesting, and also totally awkward. I wish there could have been more explorations into the world of human-OS relationships.
- Scarlett Johansson’s voice is perfect. Apparently, the film was originally shot with Samantha Morton standing in a box; I don’t know how she would have sounded, but I do think that Scarlett Johansson did a great job.
- While many of the conversations are touching and sweet, sometimes it feels like Spike Jonze was trying too hard. Some of the dialogue feels forced and fake; at times, Samantha is overly naive, at other times, unexpectedly worldly.
- The first half of the movie is very slow; I got so bored at one point that I stopped watching and went to do something else. I eventually came back and gave it a second chance, because I wanted to see what would happen in the end.
- Overall, 3/5 – some interesting ideas, but too much talking, too slowly.
- I was initially doubtful of the idea of a Lego movie, despite the Lego games being excellent. However, after hearing nothing but good things about it, I decided to give in and finally go see it.
- It was hilarious, one of those rare laugh-out-loud movies. The characters were adorable, the story had great moments. I loved how the Master Builder powers were depicted, as well as the sound as new things were constructed.
- The lapse into real-world film was a great, unexpected twist. It brought its own message, another layer to the film.
- I loved how spunky Anna was, and the struggle that Elsa faced. The fact that parents can be wrong even when well-intentioned, that once can’t marry a man one has just met, and that not all princes are perfect – these are just a few of the great topics addressed in “Frozen”.
- Idina Menzel (Elphaba!) does a fantastic job with “Let It Go”, and the animation sequence that goes along with it was fantastic as well. The working song “Frozen Heart” was also good, but I always love working songs.
- I felt the movie missed a scene where Elsa explained to Anna what had happened when they were children, and that Anna just stumbles through the whole movie without knowing their history.
- I felt like dialogue took over in the second half of the movie, and opportunities for additional songs were missed. Musicals are great in that songs act basically like soliloquies, allowing us to glimpse inside a character’s mind without the trouble of having to use interactions/actions to show, not tell. When done well, songs are excellent ways of getting to know characters!
- There’s a cute bonus scene after the credits.
“3 Idiots” is one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films, following three friends through their stressful education at a prestigious engineering college. While the film attempts to address ideals such as following your heart, studying out of a passion for knowledge, etc., it fumbles over its too-precise calculations. The interactions feel scripted, and the whole story falls short of sincerity. Despite the attempts at back-story, there doesn’t seem to be any complex characters – there is only pure love and pure hate, with no room for doubt or anything that the audience might not be able to follow. Almost every plot twist was predictable, down to the last big reveal. For a few scenes, a household described as living in the 1950s is depicted in black and white, a nice cinematic touch. There’s some cute moments, and the movie does a reasonable job of depicting parent-child relationships, but overall, the movie was idealistic even in its conflicts.
A year of post-apocalyptic worlds and superheros:
Thor: The Dark World
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Superman: Man of Steel
The Great Gatsby
I went in knowing very little about the movie, besides that it involved time travel and I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing it. When the movie finished, I sat in my seat for a little bit, thinking. The film caught me completely off guard, perhaps because I had such low expectations for it, but perhaps because it was uniquely designed, told an unexpected story, and brought more to the table than its trailers promised it would.
The film is creative in many ways, especially in the way that it uses time travel as a tool, not as a purpose; time travel is set up an interesting way through which we can explore certain ideas. We could go on and on debating the incorrect details of how the did or did not handle time travel, but that’s simply displaced, even by the characters themselves. In the words of Old Joe, Bruce Willis, “this time travel crap just fries your brain like an egg,” who goes on to dismiss all.
There’s a terribly gruesome scene, during which we don’t actually see anything. Somehow, that lack makes the scene all the more worse – imagination has always been the most powerful storyteller.
There’s a wry sense of humor pervading the film. Small moments, like the name of the waitress with fewer letters. Good interplay between past/present Joe. Nice camera decisions, poignant imagery.
Emily Blunt did an excellent job here, coming off as both tough and struggling, a great improvement from her performance in “The Adjustment Bureau.” Joseph Gordon-Levitt was fine too, although he looked a little strange, trying so hard to be a young Bruce Willis.
I’m sorry to say that, despite experiencing chills during the opening scenes of “Les Miserables,” I fell asleep during several scenes near the end. The live show was amazing when I saw it back in undergrad, and I felt that the quality of the singing was lower here, especially with Javert, despite Russell Crowe’s piercing glare. Everyone has been praising Anne Hathaway’s performance, but I felt it was a little empty, a little simple.
I expected the movie to flaunt its medium more – with film, one is able to get both closer and farther from the singers, as well as realistic scenery and setting. The opening scene was a good example of this – the ship was huge, and the shot started unexpectedly from underwater. However, too much of the film was the same: close-ups of the actors, blurring in and out of focus, singing. While this might be more intimate than watching someone sing on a stage, the truth is that a lot of people don’t really look that good or interesting while they’re singing, and having a face so up in your face actually detracts from the musical performance.
Despite my misgivings, the movie got a round of applause at the end. Also, why was this a Christmas movie? It’s a bit of a downer.